JC Again

gwelsher

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I agree with you Marc. I still have about 20+ capes left that I have collected over the years, a lot were from old collections I bought.
Some are exceptional, some good and some good for fishing flies.
The stupid thing is I cannot bring myself to use the good ones and always use the adequate ones o_O

Over the last couple of years I have donated a dozen or so capes, and other materials, to worthwhile causes and clubs providing fly tying classes to youngsters and less abled.
Instead of sitting doing nothing I hope they are being useful.
 

Marc LeBlanc

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Here’s a picture of a couple capes I have in my collection that I use on my fishing flies.

These capes cost me 25 quid for the pair a few years ago.

I use the feathers as they are right off the patch if I am lazy. If I am ambitious I will apply a dab of head cement to the back of the eye to try to repair the split but this measure is completely unnecessary for fishing flies.

While yes I have a few necks that have eyes that I use on my display-grade flies, half of the capes in my collection are similar to the ones in the photo.

Interestingly, high quality JC necks have been hard to find and expensive for decades. I remember seeing exhibition grade necks for sale for $200 U.S. back in the 90s.

Paul Schmookler would trade large quantity of Indian crow feathers for perfect JC capes in the 80s and early 90s. They were that hard to come by.

Cheers!

Marc

C30CA57C-115B-4084-BE42-294C298C71A6.jpeg
 

Craigk670

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Here is my view on the JC situation. I have tied flies since 1983, I purchased my first JC cape back in 1985 (or so) and I have seen hundreds upon hundreds of JC capes over my lifetime, from the ugliest to exhibition grade. In my opinion, the two biggest contributors to the problem of the shortage of reasonably-priced JC are the hoarding mentality and unrealistic expectations from tiers. [Time for a confession- I include myself in this category.] Up until a few years ago, if I saw a beautiful JC cape, I would snap it up. While I wouldn't pay a ridiculous price, the desire of tiers like myself would drive up prices as we are all looking for the holy grail of JC capes. We are to blame for the high prices. The dealers are only responding to the demand for the product.

I haven't purchased a JC cape in years and I don't plan to ever buy one again as I have more than I will ever use in my lifetime. One or two capes is frankly all that is required for a lifetime of hobby tying. (Commercial tying is different matter altogether).

I have purchased a few collections from retired or deceased tiers over the years and what I find most interesting is the sparseness of the collection. In the "old days", a salmon fly tier may only have one (or two max) JC capes in their collection. That's all that is needed. They didn't hoard materials and there was plenty to go around. The need for different capes with different colored eyes, different shape eyes, fewer splits..... is driven solely by the desire of the tier.

I have about a dozen JC capes in my collection and it saddens me to see entry-level tiers unable to afford the basics. I have been downsizing my collection by donating bits and bobs I have in excess or no longer use. I encourage any of you who have the means to do the same.

If we all took a more responsible look at our own material collections and our unrealistic expectations, we would see there is plenty to go around and prices would come down.

Final note on JC- if you are tying flies for the fish, rejoice when you see split nails in a cape that is for sale. The fish are not fussed about how split the eyes are. I should share with you pictures of some of the capes I have in my collection. I have some capes where 99.9% of the eyes are split. I catch as many salmon per year off flies tied with those eyes as anybody else using whatever patterns they use. Encourage younger tiers to buy and use split eyes. If we set the expectation high to the younger tiers (i.e. the need for pristine, unsplit eyes), we are only compounding the problem. If I were in the market, I would look to purchase a £30 cape with blemishes and splits rather than one that is "more perfect" at £150.

My comments are meant in a general nature and not pointed at any one dealer or tier (other than myself).

Cheers!

Marc
Your absolutely right Marc I bought 5 just Xmas 2020 , then the option reared it head again in February bought a few ,I haven’t really tied a this year
 

iainmortimer

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Here’s a picture of a couple capes I have in my collection that I use on my fishing flies.

These capes cost me 25 quid for the pair a few years ago.

I use the feathers as they are right off the patch if I am lazy. If I am ambitious I will apply a dab of head cement to the back of the eye to try to repair the split but this measure is completely unnecessary for fishing flies.

While yes I have a few necks that have eyes that I use on my display-grade flies, half of the capes in my collection are similar to the ones in the photo.

Interestingly, high quality JC necks have been hard to find and expensive for decades. I remember seeing exhibition grade necks for sale for $200 U.S. back in the 90s.

Paul Schmookler would trade large quantity of Indian crow feathers for perfect JC capes in the 80s and early 90s. They were that hard to come by.

Cheers!

Marc

View attachment 57954

These days those capes would likely be between £50 and £70 these days! For a beginnner who is forking out on a number of materials, that is still way beyond the budget when more important things like hackles need to be purchased.

I was very fortunate to have been generously given a couple of capes when I started on salmon flies including a separate wee bag with quite a number of paired unsplit eyes in it. For that I will be permanently grateful for at the time I could not have afforded to buy them.
 

Marcus c

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A new fly made with perfect jungle cock eyes looks beautiful _nobody can deny it .l reckon most of the eyes split after a few casts when they hit the water ( in my case anyway)Do the splits make a difference to the fish?l honestly don't think so.Still like to start the day with a presentable fly and usually end up changing and hooking with a scruffy _half eaten, old reliable from the bottom of the box
 

lowforcefly

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I was just watching Mr Frodins latest offering....he has changed a lot of my tying, for the better ?
He makes a big point about JC, and the need to have proof that the cape is certificated, which I am very OK with if it stops wild stock being exploited, depleted. Nature never gets a fair shake when there is money involved ?
The thing that worried me was the need to have proof of certification, of JC used on existing flies, if you are taking it into other countries ?
On most of my capes, I haven't a clue who the previous / original owners / purchasers were ? Never mind the fact that some of the capes are probably 'Pre certification.'
I have bought, over the years, 3 or 4 full fly tying collections in antique sales....(Including one where some lowlife managed to lift 3 of the 4 JC capes in the lot ? :poop: I had left a bid on it, but didn't get to pick it up straight away....that Bar*teward deserves to die painfully, brothers of the angle ...yeah, right ?)
Some day I will get to fish in Norway, but if this is so, it will negate 99% of the flies, I have tied in anticipation:unsure:....thank god I got carried away in the Storen Nature centres end of season, 40 % off, sale.... :ROFLMAO:
 

lowforcefly

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A new fly made with perfect jungle cock eyes looks beautiful _nobody can deny it .l reckon most of the eyes split after a few casts when they hit the water ( in my case anyway)Do the splits make a difference to the fish?l honestly don't think so.Still like to start the day with a presentable fly and usually end up changing and hooking with a scruffy _half eaten, old reliable from the bottom of the box
Totally agree...don't think a Salmon nailing a fly has either the, eyesight, water clarity, or time, to notice the JC is not AAA, and is a little tatty ?
Certainly not in running water.
One thing, I saw Ian Bain do, was to give the JC a liberal coat of Sally Hensen on either side. Then wipe off the excess between his fingers to strengthen, and pull the nail together. I have used this to close up some very split nails, with some noticeable success.
So far I haven't been able to test them in salmons mouth, now't new there then ?, but they have survived my lack of casting ability, to which those that have witnessed my casting, would readily testify is a damn sight more abrasive than any salmons mouth ?:cry:
 

lowforcefly

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Seems to be a large selection of capes from £55 to £70
Yorkshire
Bought my last 2 from him, about 3 years ago, and they were very good value / quality.
Luckily I live close so was able to go to shop and sort through all his stock...good lad though !
I was well happy...notice his note to Norwegian lads though ?
Obviously not CITES cert'd?
 
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